Kenai City Council votes down onsite marijuana use

Kenai City Council voted down an ordinance that would allow onsite marijuana consumption in retail stores at their council meeting Wednesday night.

Alaska recently became the first state to legalize onsite cannabis consumption at retail stores, as long as they have a separate endorsement license.

“There doesn’t seem to be an immediate need or request for it,” said Vice Mayor Tim Navarre. “It was something we were doing to keep up with the changes as the state made them.”

Navarre said that most reactions he has gotten from citizens has been against onsite consumption.

The new state legislation took effect April 11. Kenai will still have to react to the new rules. The failed ordinance would have allowed consumption in a designated consumption area of an already permitted retail marijuana store, with a limit only 1 gram of marijuana per person per day, or edible products containing 10 milligrams or less of THC.

The council’s “no” vote does not prohibit onsite consumption, according to Kenai City Attorney Scott Bloom.

“We would need to bring back further legislation and that would either be adopting code provisions that prohibit it, or doing a moratorium,” Bloom said.

Local municipalities do have the option to ban onsite consumption. Kenai City Council will have to vote on that in a separate ordinance.

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